Re-Entering the Job-field After Addiction

 In Recovery

Once you decide to enter addiction treatment, you have made a huge step in your recovery process. As you go through treatment you learn new skills that teach you how to navigate life post-substance use. This also means re-developing professional skills for when you begin looking for a job again.

While using substances, you may have engaged in behaviors that had legal consequences or caused you to neglect responsibilities. One of the most important parts of recovery is learning how to function independently and keep up with your responsibilities. Maintaining a job gives you a source of income but also a chance to establish yourself in society. After completing recovery, you may question where to start when it comes to getting back on the job market. Recovery programs can be used to help you develop professional skills for that purpose.

Learning Job Skills in Recovery

Addiction treatment is designed to teach you new skills that will make you a healthier version of yourself. A therapist or a job coach can help you develop skills that are necessary for professional character development. In the past, you may not have been able to follow a schedule or show up to daily commitments. Learning time management skills is essential for gaining more professional qualities. Good job skills to develop are:

  • Social and communication skills
  • Organization
  • Problem-solving and critical thinking
  • Emotional self-regulation
  • Self-awareness
  • Professionalism
  • Coping skills and setting boundaries
  • Punctuality

Learning time management skills is essential for gaining more professional qualities. Punctuality is an important part of being professional, as employers can’t rely on someone who is always late to work or doesn’t show up consistently. Talk to your therapist about creating a work-life balance that will help you avoid burnout but still get your job duties done.

Stress is a big trigger for substance use, and work can often be a person’s biggest stressor. Not having a good work-life balance is an easy way to trigger a relapse by running back to substances to cope with the stress of your job. During treatment, talk to your therapist about coping strategies for handling the demands of work.

Re-entering the Job Field

Getting back into the job market can be intimidating for someone with a history of addiction. If you had to leave your job to enter inpatient treatment, substance use resulted in you losing a job, or you don’t have the best track record at previous jobs, you may need to discuss these things with a potential employer.

Before you jump back completely into a full-time job, there are ways to help ease you into the routine of working. Consider looking for work through temp agencies that have the potential to expand to full-time work. Working at a temporary or part-time job will help you put your new skills into practice and get back into the flow of working conditions before committing to a full-time job.

Try to find a job that feels meaningful and is something you’re interested in. If you spend your time working at a job you love, you will enjoy your work life more. Evaluate your work history and review what your strong qualities are and look for jobs where you can put them to use.

Discussing Your Addiction at an Interview 

There are laws in place that protect workers from being discriminated against because of a disability, including mental health disorders like substance use. If you are in a job interview, sharing information about your addiction is voluntary, though it may be best not to mention it if possible. However, if you have gaps in your resume or have legal records due to substance use, you may need to explain those things. If background checks indicate that you had a substance issue, it may be best to be honest about your disorder. Talk to them about your treatment and recovery process and share your commitment to healthier living and maintaining a job.

Have Patience with Yourself 

Learning professional skills will take time and practice, so don’t expect to get the hang of it right away. Having a therapist by your side and other forms of support means you won’t have to go through this process alone. Have patience with yourself as you get back out there and look for jobs.

You may have to work yourself back up, and it will take some time to grow confidence in your professional skills. If you are looking for jobs again, that means you have been able to stay sober and are getting back into the swing of life. Be proud of yourself, and remember that recovery is a lifelong process.

Getting back on the job market after addiction recovery doesn’t have to be overwhelming process when you know how to use the resources available to you. If you feel like you lack professional skills to get back on the job hunt, work with your therapist to identify what steps should be taken to get you feeling more confident. At Mountain Peak Recovery, we offer treatment programs that help you get back on your feet after inpatient rehab and transition you back into independent living. While attending our treatment programs, you will learn new skills that can be applied in your day-to-day life and help you grow professionally. If you are interested in continuing care programs or job search assistance, call Mountain Peak Recovery at (801) 824-8829 to get started on your recovery process now. Let us help you find the light within that was once dimmed by the darkness of addiction. 

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